Brief Description

GPHL and WPHL perform COVID-19 real-time RT-PCR assays that are approved for use only under the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization, the PerkinElmer® New Coronavirus Nucleic Acid Detection Kit EUA and the Aptima® SARS-CoV-2 Assay (Panther® System). This real-time RT-PCR assay is intended for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in clinical specimens collected from patients suspected of having COVID-19 (criteria includes clinical and/or epidemiological criteria).

Laboratory Unit

  • Molecular Biology GPHL
  • Virology WPHL


  • TMA
  • DKA
  • RT-PCR

Specimen Collection


  • Swab Specimen in VTM/UTM
    • Specimens should be refrigerated (2-8°C) and shipped using refrigerated (2-8°C) specimen outfit. If a delay in testing or shipping is expected, freeze specimens at (-70°C or colder) and ship using frozen (-20 °C or colder) specimen outfit.
  • Swab Specimen in Molecular Transport Media 
    • Specimens should be at ambient (15-30 °C) for up to 7 days after collection.
  • Swab Specimen in saline
    • Specimens stored in SalivaSecure can be shipped at (19-23 °C) but must not exceed shipping times above 56 hours. Can also be stored refrigerated (2-8 °C) for up to 24 hours.
  • FRM-QA 4 Refrigeration Outfit Guide

Acceptable Specimen Type(s)

  • Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab
  • Oropharyngeal (OP) swab
  • Anterior Nasal Swab

Test Request

Possible Results

  • Detected
  • Not Detected
  • Inconclusive
  • Unsatisfactory

Reference Range

Not detected

Unacceptable Conditions

  • Missing testing requisition
  • Missing minimum of 2 patient identifiers
  • Improper labeling
  • Improper storage/transport of specimen
  • No specimen received (empty collection tube)
  • Wrong specimen type
  • Specimens damaged, broken, or leaking upon arrival
  • Patient identifier on specimen does not match that on physical or electronic submission form
  • Received after 72 hours post collection if in VTM
  • Received after 7 days if in Molecular Transport Media (MTM)
  • Received after 48 hours if in saline
  • Received after 24 hours if saliva
  • Calcium alginate swabs
  • Cotton swabs with wooden shafts

Interfering Substances


Result Reported

1-3 business days

Turnaround times may be affected by the scale of the event.


No charge

LOINC/Order Codes

94306-8 (Order code: 423000 Decatur, W423000 Waycross)